Agencies Squabble Over Controller's Role in Hudson Crash

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 15, 2009 8:30 AM CDT
Investigators examine the wreckage of an airplane, right, that sits on a pier next to the the wreckage of a helicopter. Nine people were killed when the two collided over the Hudson River.    (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
camera-icon View 2 more images

(Newser) – The National Transportation Board's view of the events that caused last weekend's crash over the Hudson River doesn't jibe with the FAA's, the Wall Street Journal reports. The NTSB chronology released yesterday suggests that errors from air traffic controllers—one of whom was one the phone to his girlfriend at the time of the crash—are partly to blame, while the FAA insists it has no reason to believe controller missteps played a role.

The NTSB report issued yesterday suggests the distraction of the phone call could have been a factor in the small plane's pilot failing to receive warnings before he collided with a helicopter. The controller has been suspended. His union, which represents 15,000 FAA controllers, says it is "extremely disappointed" with the NTSB report, which the union says fails to fairly represent the controller's side of the story.